I picked up this little book and found it packed with such good advice and information. I would say this book extends far beyond just homeschooling to motherhood in general and even just life in general. Teri Maxwell who is the founder of a blog ministry called Titus2 with her husband Steve has many many many years of homeschooling and motherhood wisdom. She shares in this book her journey from when she first started out homeschooling and found herself annoyed and impatient and frustrated with the little bumps in her children’s academic progress and efforts. She talks about being thrilled to start homeschooling and filled with all sorts of peaceful dreams with her kiddos and they were all smashed on the first day. I’ve already experienced this myself : ) All it took for her was a lot of prayer and perspective changes and now she has lots of wisdom to share on how to maintain a meek and quiet spirit as a homeschooling mother (and wife) throughout each and every day no matter what the challenges are. Here are some tidbits of wisdom from the book:
She starts with the definition of “meek” = mild of temper, soft, gentle, not easily provoked or irritated p.17 and “quiet” = peaceable, not turbulent, not giving offense, mild, meek, and contented p.18
She talks about “meek and quiet spirit robbers” which are “fear, disorganization and anger” p.24
“If I make the choice to take my thoughts captive, busyness becomes a vehicle to greater resting in the Lord.” p.45
“We will be much better off if we pray through these days, rather than allow our emotions to rule our behavior.” p.55
In regards to disciplining our children consistently: “Anger creeps into these situations when I am more concerned about my inconveniences and difficulties than I am about my child’s long-term character growth.” p.72 This really hit home for me because I find lately now that I have 2 children of disciplining age that my exhaustion with discipline on certain days is pretty high and sometimes I just want to finish my task at hand instead of stopping for the third time to address the discipline issue and I do quickly find myself struggling with anger and annoyance/impatience towards my children. Often I then will snap at them if without my discipline they aren’t stopping the issue on their own and I end up having to stop my task. I have thought about this a lot lately and have found when I do stop my task and keep an eternal perspective there is a lot of joy and growth that occurs between me and the children instead of the anger and impatience that would’ve occurred.
She talks a lot about how “anger is a choice” and refers to examples of how we would never snap at our families when we are in public (i.e. at church) the same way we would at home
“When we have the realistic expectation that our days will be very busy and that there will be much hard work, then we will be more likely to maintain a meek and quiet spirit. If we think we’ll have our evenings and weekends free, then we will be frustrated and angry when we can’t fit our homeschooling, plus our other homemaking tasks, into just the weekdays.” p.92 I tend to sit here for a long time. I am always towards the end of the day looking so forward to my evenings to myself or with Adam and if Amelia is dilly dallying too long and keeps coming out of her room or Joshie is having a hard time getting to sleep or something came up that evening and now the house is still a mess when it should be “my” rest time amongst a clean house then I get so incredibly irritable. I have been so convicted by this and just Teri’s thoughts on living our lives as mothers sacrificially for the eternal perspective of our families:
“Are we willing to give of ourselves, in selfless investment, in the eternal futures of our children?” p.89
“It is imperative that we keep the truth of God’s Word in our minds and hearts so we don’t become resentful toward our workload.” p.90
I think it is important to have our personal rest time especially as homeschooling mothers since it is a 24/7 responsibility. We never have a “lunch break” or a “15 min. break” and our tasks don’t stay somewhere else at 5 PM to be accomplished the next morning. We need time to ourselves to rejuvenate and that first time should be time with the Lord even before our “me time”. I try very hard to schedule and teach Amelia to honor my time with the Lord by staying in her room quietly until 7 in the morning because I know of it’s importance… BUT not every day is perfect. Some days she’s more obedient than others and some days our schedule/routine is off and this is where God has been teaching me to depend on Him throughout the day and in the moment when things don’t go as I planned/hoped for. He is always faithful and will always provide… as long as I ask Him.
Overall this is a very short but very thought provoking and encouraging and convicting little book. I definitely think every mother whether homeschooling or not should read this to help keep our perspectives in proper alignment!